Minor League Update: Season's End

 

The 2009 minor league season is over and congratulations are due to the Midland RockHounds, who won the Texas League crown by defeating the NW Arkansas Naturals 3 games to 1. The Sacramento River Cats were not so fortunate, getting swept by the Memphis Redbirds in 3 games. All in all it was a fairly successful year for the farm system, as several prospects that were under a lot of scrutiny had good seasons while 3 of the 4 full season teams posted winning records. (Heck, even the Stockton Ports managed to rebound in the 2nd half and go 36-34 to finish with a 61-79 overall record.)

 

 

I plan on doing a full summary of the farm system a little later on. For today I’m going to update what key players did in the play-offs. Minorleaguesplits.com is the only website that I know of that keeps track of play-off performance as part of the yearly tally but even they only show the numbers as part of the whole body of work. So if you ever wonder why the numbers from their website are different from what you will see at MiLB.com it’s on account of the play-off performance. The season totals listed below include the play-off numbers.

 

Chris Carter

AAA Postseason: 8-27, 1 D, 4 HR, 4 BB, 8 K (296/387/778)

 

AA-AAA Total: 567 AB, 44 D, 2 T, 32 HR, 89 BB, 137 K (330/423/584) .389 BABIP

 

MLE: 597 AB, 34 D, 1T, 25 HR, 62 BB, 151 K (258/330/444) .306 BABIP

 

Carter was the breakout performer in the organization and the A’s have tried him in the outfield in addition to 1B in an effort to find somewhere, anywhere to play his bat. Oakland seems very eager to see what Carter can do; as they discussed adding him to the 40 man roster after the River Cats’ season ended so he could get a cup of coffee with the A’s. Instead they’ve secured a spot for him in the Mexican Pacific League to play Winter Ball. For those who aren’t familiar with the MPL the quality of the competition is generally considered to be AAA caliber. You’ll see a lot of familiar names in the box scores and the A’s hope Carter will be able to handle the steady diet of quality breaking stuff he’s likely to see. If Carter has a strong Winter Ball season expect the A’s to give him a shot at a job on the 2010 Opening Day roster during Spring Training.

 

Brett Wallace

AAA Postseason: 8-27, 1 T, 2 HR, 2 BB, 3K (296/345/593)

 

AA-AAA Total: 550 AB, 26 D, 1 T, 21 HR, 47 BB, 115 K (293/365/458) .338 BABIP

 

MLE: 568 AB, 21 D, 1 T, 16 HR, 34 BB, 125 K (250/305/375) .295 BABIP

 

TotalZone gives Wallace an average defensive score at 3B but as you can see, his strike zone judgment needs a bit more improvement and his power numbers could tick up some as well. I haven’t seen anything that says Wallace will play Winter Ball, but my guess is he’ll spend time at the A’s facility in Arizona working on his defense and basically getting to know the folks in the organization. He won’t be a part of Instructs per se, but I imagine he’ll get some time in. The A’s don’t appear to be as aggressive about promoting Wallace as they do Carter but I’m sure that could change depending on what moves the A’s make in the offseason. If Wallace ends up back in Sacramento to start next season, rest assured his time there will be contingent on how long it takes for the A’s medical staff to begin their post-mortem on Eric Chavez.

 

Adrian Cardenas

AAA Postseason: 10-27, 3 D, 4 BB, 4K (370/452/481)

 

AA-AAA Total: 530 AB, 44 D, 4 T, 4 HR, 57 BB, 75 K (304/369/425) .348 BABIP

 

MLE: 548 AB, 36 D, 2 T, 3 HR, 40 BB, 82 K (246/295/336) .285 BABIP

 

I think Cardenas could easily surpass his MLE next season; the guy seems to be a natural born hitter. The A’s rave about his hitting ability and think 2B is the best fit for him at this time. Given Ellis’ track record for not staying healthy there’s a good chance we’ll see Cardenas in the Green & Gold at some point next season. The 52 extra-base hits are an encouraging sign as heading into the 2009 season his power was heavy on the potential and very little on the applied side of things.

 

Tyson Ross

AA Postseason: 12.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 19 K (1.49 ERA)

 

A-AA Total: 155.2 IP, 125 H, 64 ER, 56 BB, 132 K (3.71 ERA, 1.17 WHIP)

 

Ross was absolutely dominant in the postseason for the RockHounds and he probably has the best stuff of any SP currently pitching in the A’s farm system. (Note the phrasing before you comment!) Consistency is an issue for Ross, but a year from now the A’s might be trying to find room for his power arm.

 

And once again, thank you for your support.

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